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Week 1-6

Anthropologys relationship to other disciplines & fields:

Humanities: studying and interpreting the human condition
Sciences: systematic study of verifiable universe
Social sciences: applying scientific methods to study the complexities of human beings
**Anthropology (the exploration of human diversity in time & space) is the most humanistic of the

sciences vs. the most scientific of the humanities**

The 4-Fields:
Cultural anthropology
The study of human society and culture
Studies the relationships that make people unique and different
Linguistic anthropology
The study of human languages, symbols & communication
The study of human behavior and cultural patterns throughout time.
Material remains -- ruins, artifacts
Biological or physical anthropology
Anatomy, evolution & biological variation in humans, primates & hominid ancestors

Provides an account of a particular community, society, or culture (based on fieldwork)
Examines, compares, analyzes, and interprets the results of ethnography (based on cross-cultural

Franz Boas:
Founding father of American Anthropology regularly engaged in all 4 fields
Applied anthropology:
Practicingthe field of inquiry concerned with the relationships between anthropological knowledge and

the uses of that knowledge in the world beyond anthropology.

Applications of anthropology outside academia
Example: Development / aid work

Example: cultural resource management (CMS), geological sampling and survey, geological information

systems (GIS)
Example: forensic anthropology

Richard Borshay Lee

Elite anthropologist that has interest in changes in health, approach to biological concerns, and

cooperation in hunter-gatherer society

Started research in early 60s
Interests in biological issues assumptions about aggression cooperative basis of humanity
Research: looking at hunter/gatherer societies in the border areas to see how people work together.
What do cultural anthropologists study?

Explore the cultural diversity of the present and the recent past. Cultural anthropologists have a holistic
study approach - the whole picture of human life - culture, biology, history, language - across space &

The study of the whole picture of human life (culture, biology, history, language) across space and time.
Anthropologys historical links to colonialism
Shows the wide divide between the people in appearance and power.

Week 2

Culture as:
Integrated: form of cultural exchange in which one group assumes the beliefs, practices and rituals of

another group without sacrificing the characteristics of its own culture

Maladaptive: not providing adequate or appropriate adjustment to the environment or culture
Adaptive: providing adequate or appropriate adjustment to the environment or culture
Instrumental: culture is a tool, or rather a complex set of tools to enable man to perform a job
Learned: culture is learned and shared within social groups and is transmitted by nongenetic means
Symbolic: constructed and inhabited uniquely by Homo sapiens
Studied by: archaeologists, social anthropologists and sociologists.
The uniqueness of human cultures
Tool use, Language, Play, Self-recognition
The process by which a child learns his or her culture
Verbal vs. nonverbal
Concept representing another concept
Signs that have no necessary or natural connection to the things they stand for, or signify
Cultural history

Armchair anthropology:
Usually refers to late 19th century and early 20th century scholars coming to conclusions without going
through the usual anthropology motions - fieldwork or lab work. This helped lead early anthropology to

make some inappropriate conclusions about race and racism.

Cultural evolutionism
The idea that human cultural changethat is, changes in socially transmitted beliefs, knowledge,
customs, skills, attitudes, languages, and so oncan be described as a Darwinian evolutionary process

that is similar in key respects (but not identical) to biological/genetic evolution.

Based on Darwins theory of natural selection
Synonymous with civilization

Edward Tylor
An English anthropologist who defined the context of the scientific study of anthropology based on

evolutionary theories
Changing definitions of culture
Bronislaw Malinowski
A famous Polish anthropologist/ethnographer

known for his posthumous private diary as well as developing the classic elements of anthropological

Classic ethnography:
Single-sited fieldwork for one year
Salvage anthropology:
Documents rituals, myths, practices of those facing extinction or removal
The ethnographic present:
Writing in present tense
Period when process of culture change is ignored in order to describe a culture as if it were a stable

The tendency to view ones own culture as superior and to apply ones own cultural values in judging the

behavior and beliefs of people raised in other culture

Cultural relativism:
The viewpoint that behavior in one culture should not be judged by the standards of another culture
The ongoing exchange of cultural features that results when groups have continuous firsthand contact
Cultural particularism
A trait or feature that is unique to a place, culture, or society.
Contemporary cultural concepts
Culture as a dynamic system of meanings
Continually problematizes "the culture"
Not necessarily tied to an area.
Culture is intertwined with power relations
Culture as contested
Different groups in a society struggle with one another over whose ideas, values, goods, and beliefs will

A series of processes that work transnationally to promote change in a world in which nations and people
are increasingly interlinked and mutually dependent
Human agency:
The actions that individuals take, both alone and in groups, in forming and transforming cultural identities
Local appropriation
What is appropriate in certain cultures ````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

Other readings and films: Lee (author bio, chaps. 1-4)

Clarie Sterks Tricking and Tripping
Sterk studied Urban prostitution through those involved in the trade.
Goldsteins When Brothers Share a Wife
Reading about Tibetan Marriage Tradition of Fraternal Polyandry (when one wife is shared between 2, 3,

or 4 brothers)
Other forms of marriage (monogamy and polygyny are acceptable in the culture, as is divorce)
Reasons include economic: it is more profitable to keep and share the land and animals owned by the

family instead of splitting it up and all living poor lives they share the work and wealth
They view each brother having their own wife but all living on and sharing the land as too complex, as

wives with more children would be more demanding, etc.

There is only one set of heirs per generation to family estates, instead of one set of heirs per brother per

generation (think England with Prince William and Prince Harry instead of having their own kids they both

share Kate, reducing the number of offspring who could inherit the throne)
The Highlands Trilogy
The australian guys (movie)

First Contact (1983)

/What methods were being used?
Direct observation, conversation, historical videos, in depth interviews, and discovery of native beliefs
What does the field look like?
Filming in the village (highlands)
How does contact express itself?
Sign language for communication
Natives afraid of whiteman, believe its a foreign object
Continuity between trade, colonialism, and warfare

N!ai (1980)
Week 3


Cultural globalization
Globalization from below
What is experienced on the ground?
How globalization attaches itself to everyday life
Methods for studying cultural globalization
Studying local practices in g lobal processes
Creating historically-based research on structural inequalities and human agency
Multi-sited ethnography and its methods
follow the people/trade
follow the metaphor/symbol
follow the commodity (patterns of trade)
follow the story or allegory
follow the conflict
follow the life or biography
strategically situated single site ethnography
Ethnographic techniques
Observation and participant observation
prolonged immersion in a social world while collecting as many kinds of information as possible (emic vs.

etic sources)
locating fieldwork
2) interviewing
-tends to be overused
-gather and ask about all data relevant
3) Genealogical Method
-ethnographer develop notation and symbol to deal with kinship, descent, and marriage
-needed to understand current social relations and to reconstruct history
4) Key cultural consultants
-people who by accident, experience, or training can provide the most complete and
useful information about particular aspects of life (such as the village history)
5) life history
-recollection of a lifetime of experiences provides a more intimate and personal cultural
6) local beliefs

7) problem oriented
-Ethnographers choose a specific problem in which they research
8) longitudinal research
-long term study of an area and population
9) Team research
-multiple ethnographers
10) multi-sited research

Observation and participant observation

Participant- Prolonged immersion in a social world while collecting as many kinds of information as
Locating fieldwork

Key elements to fieldwork (access, rapport, etc.)

gain access
learn language(s)
data collection
develop trust
build relationships/rapport
negotiating culture shock
Anthropologys multiple methods
when ethnographers record what is happening in their environment
Participant observation
when ethnographers take part in community life as they study it
Biography and life
Personal experience
Archival research
Media analysis
Emic and etic:
An emic account comes from a person within a culture.
An etic account is a description of a behavior or a belief by a social analyst or scientific observer.
Ethnographic interviews and their limitations
Tend to not be reciprocal
Over-reliance on interview questions
Power relations usually unbalanced (studying up vs. studying down)
Studying up, down, and sideways
Up = studying someone higher than you in power
Down = study on one that is under you
Sideways = study of an equal
Types of interviews (structured, semistructured, etc.)
Structured: prepared questions/survey interviews
Semistructured: based on pre-determined guides/life history reviews
Unstructured: informal/conversational interviews
Virtual: social networking/online chat/email
Descriptive questions
Referring to object or media example
Informed consent
Given before experiments, usually a contract to participate and be given more information

The ethnographer as research instrument

Techniques and Ethics
Informed consent and intentions
Recording vs. non-recording
Taking notes vs. not taking notes

Week 4

Family and how you are related to your family. What characteristics are shared, etc.
Discipline derived
Blood relationship
Lewis Henry Morgan:
Railroad Lawyer and pioneering anthropologist who mostly specialized in Kinship.
Kinship charts:
Chart that shows relation of family members that uses symbols to signify things such as blood relation,

male/female, married, etc.

Kinship symbols
- Triangle represent Male , Circle represents Female, = represents marriage, inequality
represents divorce, and slash through a shape represents death

Kinship and biology:

The American emphasis on biology for kinship in the recent proliferation of DNA testing
Group of people related in some way, not necessarily by common residence or ancestry.
Foundation of kinship
Fictive kin:
This is when you form relationships that are like family, (i.e. sports team, roommates)
Nuclear family vs. Extended family
- Nuclear family is typical couple living with their unmarried children.
- Extended family would be any other form of related family living together. (i.e. two
brothers and their wives living together or a nuclear family living with the couples parents

as well)
Family of orientation:
Nuclear family in which one is born and grows up
Family procreation:
Nuclear Family established when one marries and has kids.
Descent patterns (bi-, uni-, matri-, patrilineality)
Unilateral descent: traced only through one/either parent
Bilateral descent: traced through both parents.
Patrilineal descent: family line is traced through male line.
Matrilineal: family line is traced through female descent.
Patterns of locality (neo-, matri-, patrilocality)
Patrilocality: when a couple marries it moves to the husbands community so their children will grow up in

their fathers village.

Matrilocality: married family lives in the mothers village and the children grow up there.
Neolocality: When couple forms new residence after marriage not linked to eithers past.
Cross-cousin marriage:
Is from a parent's opposite-sex sibling (Brazil)
A group that demonstrates common descent from a known ancestor.
A group that claims descent from a common ancestor through Stipulation
Marriage across cultures:

Different cultures have different practices when marrying. Some husband partys give a gift to the other
side since they lost the wife, sometimes if the wife dies young then a replacement may come for the

husband from her side. (151-152 for more detail)

Refers to sexual contact with a relative - not as negatively regarded in some parts of the world.
Instinctive Horror: homo sapiens are genetically programmed to avoid incest
-this theory has been refuted.
specific kin types included within the incest taboo have a cultural rather than a biological basis.

Fraternal polyandry:
Rare practice in which 2 or more brothers are married to the same wife. (often practiced by Tibetan

Ghost marriages:
when a woman is widowed, remarries her dead husbands brother and has children though the kids are

still considered to be those of her first husband.

Ju/Hoansi kinship and social organization
Ju/Hoansi Kinship I:

kin terms refer to relative age as one of the few status distinctions made
two types of relationships: joking vs. avoidance
Joking: relaxed

Avoidance: respectful and reserved

people in avoidance relationships do not marry, even if they are unrelated

joking is ordered by taboos

Ju/Hoansi Kinship II:


man and woman may never have same name

no surnames (name added to given name), but nicknames are extensive
ties society together

Ju/Hoansi Kinship III (Principle of Wi):


age = more control through naming

creates dynamism and flexibility in kin universe

Week 5

Subsistence and foraging

-Adequate diet & short work week
-Not a constant struggle for survival
-Based on shared resources

non industrial, non-intensive system of plant cultivation in which plots lie fallow for varying lengths of

time, low labor, shifting plot

non industrial system of plant cultivation characterized by continuous and intensive use of land and labor,
permanent plot

Industrial alienation: In industrial societies, workers sell their labor to bosses who can fire them. Work
and the workplace are separated-alienated- from ones social essence. Some workers will undergo

hysterical episodes in other words they would have a spiritual overtake.

Exchange between social equals, normally related to kinship, marriage, or other personal ties.
Based on mutual benefit.
continuum of generalized, balanced and negative reciprocity
(among North American Indian peoples of the northwest coast) an opulent ceremonial feast at which

possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige.

more thats giving away = more prestige the person hosting the party has